The “Korean Investment Home Program” was first launched in 2010, offering real estate investment options. Then in 2012, South Korea launched a public business plan to complement its offers with commercial and bond investment options. This program offers a renewable 2-year residence permit. After living in the country for 5 years, applicants are eligible for Korean permanent residency and citizenship. The Korean passport is a world-class travel document that provides visa-free travel to the United States, Europe, and China. Korean non-permanent residents are not taxed on their foreign income.
What is an investor visa?
An investor visa allows foreigners who are citizens of treaty countries to build, operate, and manage their own business/franchise in South Korea.
An investor visa is principal guaranteed and an interest-free investment. The foreign investor deposits the minimum required funds into a public fund run by the Korea Development Bank entrusted by the Ministry of Justice, and returns(only) the investment principal after 5 years.
Criminals, tax delinquents, persons with 4 or more immigration violations(except for those who have paid the overdue tax) are not eligible for this type of visa.
Foreign investors need to notify the Minister of Justice right after consultation with the relevant department (Ministry of Land, Infrastructures, Transport, and/or Tourism) to invest the minimum required funds in development projects in underdeveloped areas, and make unfavorable or harmful investments.
The minimum investment amount for investor’s visa
500 million won or more (300 million won or more for retired investors over the age of 55)
Resident(F-2 visa) status that allows free economic activity is granted to foreign investors, spouses, and unmarried children, and allows for a change of status to permanent resident (F-5) for at least 5 years if the foreign investor maintains the investment. The “Utilities Investment Immigration Fund” is entrusted to the Korea Development Bank, which provides low-interest rate loans to SMEs(small and medium enterprises) and smart factories, thereby contributing to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and creating more jobs and opportunities for South Korean nationals.
Process in getting an investor’s visa in South Korea
- Initial test. This supports a smooth investment process by pre-screening investors for suitability for a residence permit.
- Investment product contracts and acquisitions. The investment amount must be shown as a foreign investment.
- Confirmation of investment and change of status of residence. You will need to change your residency F-2 status after the investment is completed
- Apply for permanent resident status after 5 years.